We’re trying to get all of this summer’s most successful ice cream recipes out while it’s still prime time for frozen treats :) This one is our absolute dream-come-true ice cream sandwich with a no-bake chocolate brownie crust and a vanilla and cherry ice cream interior. Give us cherries and chocolate any time, and we’re in heaven.
The chocolate brownie crust is no joke here – it’s rich, soft and so fudgy, very much like the real deal. All of that is achieved with a magical combination of coconut flour, tahini and cacao, sweetened with dates and banana. It’s a totally oven-free affair, too, which is always a bonus. The interior of the sandwich is store-bought, dairy-free vanilla ice cream (this one is my favorite), studded with fresh cherries.
There’s a bit of waiting around for the layers to freeze, but otherwise, this sandwich is surprisingly easy and really fun to put together. The recipe makes sixteen sandwiches, and of course they keep well in the freezer. Make these, and you’ll have the tastiest, homemade dessert around your kitchen for a few weeks, possibly. Hope you’ll give this one a try! I will be making my third batch this coming weekend :)
- 1½ cups tahini or any other nut/seed butter, or even a blend of two butters
- 6 large, soft Medjool dates - pitted and soaked in hot water for 10 minutes
- 2 ripe but firm bananas - try to choose ones that are not too ripe or overly sweet
- ½ cup raw cacao powder
- pinch of sea salt
- splash of vanilla extract (optional)
- ¼ cup coconut flour
- 2 pints dairy-free vanilla ice cream
- 1½ cups frozen or fresh, pitted cherries (we used frozen ones from Trader Joe's, which are really sweet and juicy)
- Spoon the tahini into a food processor. Drain the dates, reserving the soaking liquid and add them to the food processor, followed by the bananas. Process until smooth.
- Add the rest of the brownie ingredients to the food processor and process until well combined. Add 1-2 tablespoons of the date soaking liquid if your processor needs help to get going. Transfer the mixture into a mixing bowl and finish mixing with a spoon, if needed. You should have about 3 cups of the brownie mix total.
- Cover a 9" x 9", rimmed baking dish with parchment paper, extending the edges of the paper up the sides. Spread half of the brownie mixture over the bottom of the pan in an even layer with wet hands. Carefully lift out this first brownie layer from the pan by the extended edges of the parchment paper and place it onto a cutting board. Transfer the board into the freezer. Re-line the same dish with parchment paper, extending the edges of the paper up the sides. Make the second brownie layer with the remaining mixture. Leave it in the dish and place in the freezer. Let the brownie layers freeze while you are mixing the ice cream.
- Remove the ice cream from the freezer and let it soften at room temperature, until it's just spreadable. Take care not to over-thaw. Scoop the ice cream into a mixing bowl and stir it until evenly smooth and creamy. Fold in the cherries.
- Check your brownie layers and make sure that they have solidified in the freezer, so that you can spread the ice cream layer over them, without smudging the brownie. Remove the dish with the brownie layer from the freezer and spread the ice cream over the brownie in an even layer.
- Remove the cutting board with the other brownie layer from the freezer and quickly invert the brownie over the ice cream to make the top layer. Peel off the parchment paper. Lightly press on the brownie to adhere all the layers together. Place the dish back in the freezer until completely frozen, preferably overnight or at least 4 hours.
- When your sandwich is ready to be cut, take the pan out of the freezer and lift out the sandwich onto a cutting board, using the extended edges of the parchment paper. Run your knife under hot water. Optionally, trim off the uneven edges for a cleaner appearance. Slice the sandwich in half lengthwise and crosswise,into 4 large squares. Proceed to slice each square diagonally into triangles, then slice each triangle in half one more time to end up with 16 triangular sandwiches. Enjoy right away or keep frozen. Remove from the freezer 5-10 minutes prior to eating.